Hauraki Herald - - GARDENING -

The first cold snap means the writ­ing is on the wall for ten­der­leafed herbs like basil and rocket. It’s time for the hardier peren­ni­als like rose­mary, thyme and sage to take their turn flavour­ing soups and stews. There’s still time to har­vest the last of the sum­mer crops and prop­a­gate more herb plants.

1. Basil. I’m still har­vest­ing basil. I freeze some as pesto and some just whizzed up with olive oil. Cubes frozen in ice cube trays then trans­ferred to shal­low plas­tic stor­age boxes are very handy to pop into casseroles or to stir through pasta. I’ve been mak­ing a very mor­eish dip by adding feta cheese to pesto with a lit­tle nat­u­ral Greek yo­ghurt to thin it a lit­tle. This mix­ture wouldn’t freeze well but that’s not a prob­lem be­cause there is never any left over. 2. Pars­ley: In warmer ar­eas pars­ley grows year round. Pro­long its life by chop­ping out the flower stalks. Or let one plant go to seed and self sow next year’s crop. 3. Chives: Dur­ing a dry spell my gar­lic chives were in­fested with black aphids. I dosed the clump a cou­ple of times with soapy water but Iwasn’t dili­gent enough and the aphids pros­pered and colonised the spring onions, then eyed up the chives too. In the end I chopped the gar­lic chives down to the ground which made it eas­ier to thor­oughly wash the area with soapy water. New growth came through within a week and (fin­gers crossed) is aphid free. Now’s a good time to di­vide

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